Tag Archive for physicians for social responsiblity

2018 Physicians for Social Responsibility Scholarship Essay Contest

Physicians for Social Responsibility is an organization many of the members of the American River Democrats belong to. Dr. Bill Durston, club member and vice president of the Sacramento Chapter of PSR recently announced their scholarship essay contest:

We’re pleased to announce that the 2018 PSR/Sacramento Scholarship Essay Contest is now open to high school seniors in Sacramento and surrounding counties (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba). A total of $15,000 in scholarship money will be awarded to 12 students. The prompt for this year’s contest, chosen by a vote of our members, is the following quotation by the Iranian women’s rights activist, Mahnaz Afkhami:

“The connection between women’s human rights, gender equality, socioeconomic development, and peace is increasingly apparent.”

To enter the contest, high school seniors must submit an original essay of 500 words or fewer describing their thoughts about Ms. Afkhami’s statement. The deadline for essay submission is midnight on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Students should submit their essays and contact information via the Scholarship Essay Contest Page of the PSR/Sacramento website.

We would appreciate your help in bringing the 2018 essay contest to the attention of any high school seniors with whom you have contact. We would also appreciate your help in choosing the 10 finalists by being an essay reader. Each essay reader is invited to read and rank an initial batch of ~30 essays in mid March in the initial screening process; to read and rank another batch of ~30 semifinalists’ essays in late March or early April in the second phase of the finalist selection process; and to participate in an in person discussion at our house on the evening of Sunday, April 15, at which we will make the final decision on the 10 finalists and two alternate finalists.

Being an essay reader provides an intereting perspective on the thinking of today’s youth. In past years, most essay readers have found the finalist selection process to be an enjoyable and inspiring one. Given the timeliness of Ms. Afkhami’s statement, the essays should be particularly interesting this year. Please contact us by email or call us at (916) 955-6333 if you would be willing to be an essay reader. Note that you don’t have to participate in all three phases of the finalist selection process to be an essay reader. You can just participate in one or two of the three phases if you like.

Please save the date of Sunday, May 6, to attend the essay contest finals dinner at which the 10 finalists will present their essays orally and a distinguished panel of judges from the community will select the first, second, and third place winners. First place will win a $3,000 scholarship, second place a $2,500 scholarship, and third place a $2,000 scholarship. The other seven finalists will all receive $1,000 each, and the two alternate finalists will both receive $250. We’ll be sending out detailed information about making dinner reservations in the near future.

This is the 14th consecutive year that PSR/Sacramento has offered the scholarship essay contest. With this year’s awards, we will have given out over $165,000 in scholarship money since the inception of the contest. It’s through the generosity of supporters like you that we can continue to offer the scholarship essay contest every year. Tax-deductible contributions toward the scholarship fund can be made online via the donations page of the PSR/Sacramento website or sent by regular mail to PSR/Sacramento, 10 Dumfries Court, Sacramento, Ca., 95831. One hundred per cent of contributions made to the scholarship fund go directly to the students.

Thanks for your support of PSR/Sacramento and our annual high school scholarship essay contest. I hope you’ll consider helping choose the finalists in this year’s contest by being an essay reader, and please remember to save the date of Sunday, May 6, to attend the 2018 essay contest finals dinner.

Bill Durston, M.D.
Vice President, Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility

Bill Durston is the Special Guest at the January meeting

When Dr. Ami Bera won the 2012 election to represent the 7th District in the US House of Representatives, it was after he had lost once to incumbent Dan Lundgren. But that defeat set in motion the tools, momentum, and organization needed to win the next election. But you could say the process had already begun in 2006 and 2008, when another medical doctor, Bill Durston, challenged Lundgren for the seat. Dr. Durston energized the Democratic base in the 7th District, and gave people someone to root for, and a feeling of hope that our voices might be heard, a hope that was finally answered, and then narrowly held onto in the last two elections.

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But of course, those who know Bill, know that he is so much more than a politician. You might never guess it from talking to him, but he is a Vietnam war veteran and emergency room doctor. (I think of him more as the kindly pediatrician type…)

He is also the President of the Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization concerned with reducing violence – both on a world-wide and person-to-person level, protecting the environment, and insuring good affordable healthcare for all. (Natural goals for professional healers, and worthy aspirations for anyone!)

Bill also authored a hard hitting essay on the country’s response to the Sandy Hook tragedy – or actually our political system’s total LACK of a response. Bill will be bringing that conversation to the American River Democrats’ monthly meeting for January. Everyone is encouraged to come, and bring friends!

Join the American River Democrats us as we welcome Dr. Durston to the January meeting.


The America River Democrats January Meeting will be at Samurai Sushi, Wednesday, January 21, 12251 Folsom Bl, Rancho Cordova.

We begin our gathering at 6:30 for social time and a chance to order food or drinks.

Samurai Sushi is near the Hazel exit from the 50 freeway on Folsom Blvd.

Guests are always welcome!